Wednesday, March 30, 2022

slice of life ~ girl's getaway weekend and cat sitting

This past weekend, I went on a girl's getaway with one of my best friends. She had asked me in January if I wanted to go to Galena (IL) with her in February or March and I chose the end of March, thinking the weather would be decent. This is what we encountered the first day we were there. That's ice build-up on the outside edge of my car window.

The next day started out cloudy, but the sun finally made an appearance. It was cold though ~ only in the 30's. Doesn't it figure that the weekend before was in the 70's? Oh well, we had a lot of fun anyway. Galena is a beautiful, historic town in the northwest corner of Illinois, on the borders of Iowa and Wisconsin. I hadn't been since 2015.

We basically did the typical girlfriend things: enjoyed live music on Friday night, shopped 'til we almost dropped on Saturday, stopped for a french pastry and coffee for a mid-morning treat, relaxed in the late afternoon with a wine tasting, and enjoyed some light meals.

Saw these cat-embroidered jeans in a window and exclaimed they were "so me" ~ but not at $89.

Sampling some wines...only brought one bottle home with me.

Trunk is full, time to go home!

One of the things I bought was a card with quilling art on it. The shop keeper said people frame these; that they make beautiful art. I found this matted frame at Michaels and hung the art in my office/guestroom. I love it!

Our neighbor-friends are on vacation this week and I'm cat-sitting their fur babies, Frida and Bella. They're sisters, rescued from a local shelter. Aren't they beautiful? They're both so sweet and playful; Frida being a "wild child" and Bella being more laid back and quiet. Yesterday morning, they were both in the family room window looking for me as I approached the house. 😻

I've done a teeny bit of Easter decorating, which I will show you in my next post. Hope you have a wonderful rest of the week! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

deciding on curtains

I bought my living room curtains over seven years ago at World Market. I like them: They're cotton and lined. The colors and pattern are pleasing to me. However, I'm tired of them. I've been looking for neutral curtains so that I can use different colors in my living room decor...not just colors that go with blue and yellowish-green.

When looking for a recent photo of my living room curtains on my laptop, the only one I could find was this one with Monkey in it from February 7th, the day before he crossed the Rainbow Bridge. 💔 I miss him so much. It hurts my heart just to look at his photo.

Home Goods has a good selection of curtains at great prices. I came home with two pairs to try. First up were these slightly sheer white curtains with button tab tops. I didn't like them in the living room - I thought they were too stark and too sheer. I don't think it helps that we still have faux wood trim around our windows. Ugly, I know. But we're not DIYers and so it's one of those things on the handyman/contractor list to be done.

Next up was a pair of sheer beige linen curtains. At first I thought I liked these, and then realized they were way too sheer.

We ended up putting the white button tab top curtains in Brian's office (formerly Tim's bedroom). We thought they looked good in there. Clementine approved!

The curtains that were hanging in this room before, got moved down to the basement family room over the window well window.

This is what the white curtains looked like in Brian's office in the morning. We're having a lot of gray, rainy days now, so not much light. But I'm loving the softer look.

Back to the drawing board ~ or in this case, stores and online ~ to find living room curtains!

Have you had to shop for curtains lately? What are your go-to places? 

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

mid-march this and that

Hi friends ~ even though technically it's still winter, we're having some beautiful spring teaser days. Today it got up to 67 degrees! I had all the windows open in the house and it was wonderful to hear all the birds chirping and sandhill cranes flying overhead. March in Illinois is fickle. Friday will only be 39 degrees and rainy, with snow mixed in.

Still fluffing my nest for spring, I took the pitchers off the mantel that I had there before and played around with other decor...

I'm liking this look on the mantel much better. 

I have to say, I'm tired of my boho curtains. I've had these for about seven years and I'm wanting to change to something plain, most likely an off-white cotton or linen. 

Clementine is still hanging in there. I took her to the vet last week for a follow-up to have her gums and broken fang looked at, as suggested by the vet dentist. The vet said she has a little bit of inflammation in her gum where the fang broke off, but there isn't any infection yet. That was good news.

Back to thinking about changes in the living room...I'm tired of this rug, too. I got this one from Wayfair a couple of years ago when I used to write sponsored posts for them. This rug hasn't worn well, I think it's too small for the room, and I don't like the white and gray with my white sofa. I'm now thinking of something larger and colorful. 

On a sad note, Brian's father ~ my father-in-law ~ passed away on March 5th. He was 88 years old and had been in a nursing home for a few years with many health problems. We were able to say goodbye to him before he passed and to be with him as he took his last breath. 

(Brian and his dad, 1981)

I did some antiquing recently...

What do you think of the hat ~ is it me?

Or perhaps I should've taken home this lamp?

I passed on the lamp and brought home this pillow instead. Even though not an antique, the shop I was in had other pretty decor mixed in with their antiques. I bought a vintage blue and white tablecloth too, but no photos right now since I don't have it on my table.

I also stopped by one of my favorite independent shops, The Backdrop. This is one of those stores where you can find all kinds of unique gift items...and little things to spoil yourself with, too. The owner of the shop told me that these quilted cats were made by a retired Kindergarten teacher, who uses vintage quilts to make these cuties.

Another find from The Backdrop was this little 1970's snail planter.

It's been such a busy month that I just realized today that St Patrick's Day is tomorrow. Not that we do anything special to celebrate, but I do have a few St Patrick's Day decor items that I usually dig out and display. Oh well, not this year! 🤷 🍀

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

happy march ~ small joys

Hello and happy March! I don't know about you, but I'm glad to see February go. Not only because Monkey passed away in February (three weeks ago today 😢), but winters here in northeast Illinois last "forever". Seeing the calendar turn to March at least gives me a little hope. I know it's still technically winter and we could easily have more snow storms, but at least there will be some warmer days here and there. Just the fact that it stays light until almost 6 pm now lifts my spirits.

Small joys...

Plants make me happy! If I can't garden outside right now, I can add to my house plant collection. We have a new, women-owned plant shop in our town and they had a plant sale a few weeks ago. Of course, I had to go and check out the shop. Not only are the owners friendly and helpful, but their shop has so many cool plants, plus they've expanded to include lovely, unique gift items. Three plants came home with me. First up is this pretty striped plant called Parallel Peperomia. It's a perennial that's native to South America. 

This large plant is my favorite and the one I splurged on. It's a Hoya Carnosa Krimson Queen. It's native to Thailand, India and China but is also found growing in the wild in the Philippines, New Guinea, Polynesia and Australia. I love the pink leaves!

It would make a beautiful hanging plant in front of the window, but I have a hanging iron chandelier to the right of this window over the dresser (not shown), so the plant wouldn't look good hanging in this particular spot. I had Brian hold it up for me so I could get a visual.

The third plant I bought is commonly known as a snake plant. There's a good deal of varieties: this one is a Sansevieria Laurentii. One thing I like about this plant is that it basically survives on neglect. It doesn't need a lot of light and requires little water.

In the kitchen, I changed the artwork on the wall to one of a brighter, colorful canvas (thrifted a few years ago) instead of my son's large photography print. I love Tim's photography, but the photo was in neutral tones and I was wanting lighter and brighter in the kitchen. I moved the photo print into the living room.

I found a short, neutral, lightweight runner for the kitchen table on Amazon. It's hard to find a short runner. Standard runners are 72" long, which is much too long for my small kitchen table. Sorry for the dimmer photos, but I took these late in the day.

I've always tried to look for small joys in my home and it feels even more important now, with what's going on in Ukraine. Our homes should be our place of comfort and safety. To see these families fleeing for their lives is heartbreaking and beyond comprehension.

What small joys are you finding or bringing into your home right now?